By Adejumo Kabir
A Federal High Court in Osogbo, Osun State, has adjourned the hearing of a suit mandating the National Assembly to begin removal process of President Muhammadu Buhari to November 26.
In the suit filed on June 19, the applicants based their arguments on four points why they believe the National Assembly should remove Mr Buhari.
In the motion ex-parte, they accused Mr Buhari of violating the 1999 Constitution by contesting for election, winning and being sworn in as the president on May 29, 2015 without possessing the basic constitutional requirements, which would have qualified him to contest for the election.
They further alleged that the 4th Respondent, Mr Buhari, presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2015 presidential election which is violation of section 137 (1) (j) of the 1999 Constitution.
“In the light of the 4th Respondent’s placement to continue in the office as the president, he has no certificate and basic requirements upon which this placement to continue in the office can be placed,” they argued.
He was also accused of not taking the welfare and security of Nigerians seriously, as contained in the oath of office.
“The 4th Respondent on the 29th day of May 2015, took an oath of office, among others, to the effect that, he would rule in accordance to and protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, particularly section 14 (2) (b) which stipulates that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. In the contrary, the 4th Respondent has proved to be unable to guarantee the security of lives and property of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in fulfilment of his oath of Office.
“The herdsmen killings of innocent citizens under the 4th Respondent have been uncountable, unbearable and unprecedented overheating figures in the globe. The 4th Respondent, in contravention of the due process and sections 80 and 81 of the 1999 Constitution, spent about $496 million on the purchase of Tucano Jets without the approval of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as required by the law.”
“The 4th Respondent ordered to be withdrawing money from the public fund of the Federation without the approval of the National Assembly or the authorisation of its act and same used for the purchase of Tucano jets. The 4th Respondent has committed several impeachable offences, that is, gross misconduct.
“By the provision of section 143 of the 1999 Constitution, the 1st to 3rd Respondents (The Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly) have the statutory duty to impeach the 4th Respondent as the president and Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on gross misconduct.
“The 1st (Senate President) and 3rd (Speaker) Respondents have closed their eyes to the gross misconduct of the 4th Respondent.”
The applicants however said they have the right to mandate 1st and 3rd Respondents to perform their statutory duty of impeachment against the 4th Respondent, having bordered on the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Citing several constitutional authorities in the written address in support of th motion and with 44-paragraph affidavits, they asked some questions by putting comparing Nigeria to some countries.
“Can the conduct of the 4th Respondent, particularly on the presentation of a forged certificate, be condoned in America or great Britain unchecked? Can the 4th Respondent continue to benefit from his act of forgery and infraction of constitution?
“Definitely, an American president cannot be genuinely accused of presentation of a forged certificate and still be allowed to continue as the president, likewise the Prime Minister of the Great Britain”.
On Tuesday, Mr Buhari’s counsel, Solomon Ogunlowo, pleaded with the court for not serving the applicants with notice of preliminary objection to the reliefs being sought by the applicants and therefore asked for adjournment. He also promised to effect the service.
The applicants counsel, Samuel Echeonwu, however refused to object the adjournment plea.
Maureen Onyetenu, the justice presiding over the case, adjourned it to November 26 for hearing.